I hesitate adding my voice during Pride month. I am in hopes that it is seen respectfully and in support of the community I support with my whole heart.
I have had a journey with the idea of advertising that I’m an ally to the LGBTQIA+ community. It’s by no means that I don’t want people to know, I hope that my actions speak louder than my words.
My initial worry is that people would interpret it as “Oh, I’M not gay but it’s cool if YOU are,” as if me being interpreted as LQBTQIA+ would be bad. On the other hand I didn’t want to be wearing rainbows and be seen as “yet another straight person appropriating a culture that isn’t mine.” It’s a fine line that I tiptoe around.
One of my high school friends Trevor, a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, posted on Facebook a while back about representation. He wears a rainbow bracelet so that people know he’s a safe person in his community. I loved that idea. I know that not all people have a place to turn. If someone sees representation they might realize that they are not alone. I wanted to wear one. I did. But, again, appropriation.
A few days ago, on another Facebook post, Trevor mentioned he had seen people wear bracelets that said “ally”. I finally came full circle and understood that, if I’m wearing this bracelet all the time and not just a rainbow tshirt during pride month, it might not be construed as appropriation. It might be a way for a kid to see that they are not alone. They have someone who they could turn to if they are not being supported at home OR just another person who is standing with them and fighting for their rights.
I don’t want to spotlight that I’m an ally for credit, that’s not what I’m going for. I want to acknowledge that I’m a person who will accept you for who you are and where you are at that moment.